Lead-Based Paint Inspections

What is Lead-Based Paint and When is it a Hazard?

Lead-based paint was used throughout New Jersey prior to 1978 when the use of lead in paint was banned. Lead was used in paint for improved durability, pigment and a drying agent. Lead-based paint was more widely used in homes prior to 1950 – most homes built before 1950 have some lead-based paint unless fully renovated.

Deteriorated paint can lead to lead hazards. Although lead exposure in children can be from eating paint chips, the primary source of lead exposure is from lead dust. Lead dust most often accumulates from lead-based painted friction surfaces like doors rubbing against door jambs and window sashes rubbing in the frame.

Lead exposure in children can lead to permanent nervous system damage. Even at low levels, lead exposure in children can slow a child’s development, causing learning or behavioral problems. More information on the effects of lead can be found here: https://www.epa.gov/lead

Lead inspections can include testing surfaces to determine if and where layers of paint contain lead, and/or risk assessment to collect dust or soil to determine if lead hazards exist. All paint in homes built before 1978 should be kept in good condition and all dust regularly cleaned to prevent hazardous conditions.

Lead Inspection Services

Full Lead-Based Paint Inspection

The inspector will use an X-ray Florescence Device (XRF) to test all painted wall components throughout the home to document any surfaces coated with a lead-based paint. Any areas of lead-based paint deterioration will be noted with recommendations for remedial actions. A total of 200-300 samples are taken in most homes. A full report will be issued with the findings.

If the lead inspection is being performed on a rental property, and if no interior surfaces are found to have lead-based paint present, a “lead-free” certificate can be issued to exempt the rental unit from further periodic “lead-safe” inspections. If lead-based paint is discovered but all observed to be intact, a “lead-safe” certificate can be issued. “Lead-safe” certificates are valid for 2 years.

Rental "Lead-Safe" Inspection

If you are unsure if there is lead-based paint in your dwelling unit, a preliminary Full Lead Inspection is highly recommended as you may be exempt from this law!

All rental units in New Jersey built before 1978 (unless certified to be “lead-free” or exempt) are required to have periodic “lead-safe” inspections every 2-3 years. This inspection can be performed by the municipality for a fee or by the NJ Lead Inspector/Risk Assessor of your choosing. Many landlords prefer to choose their own inspector.

This inspection includes a visual assessment of all painted surfaces to identify any areas of paint deterioration. All surfaces have to be assumed to be lead-based paint. The inspector will then look for dust accumulation on flat surfaces including floors, window sills, and on tops of door and window trim. Prior to the inspection, a full cleaning and paint touchup is recommended to prevent unnecessary failure.

Some municipalities require dust wipe sampling in addition to the visual inspection. Please confirm with your township if dust wipe samples are required and refer to this list for more information:


Lead Inspection Pricing

  • Full Lead Inspection
    + $10 per additional 100 sf over 1500 SF.

    $100 discount if bundled with a full home inspection

  • Rental "Lead-Safe" Inspection
    + $50 per additional dwelling unit.

    $100 discount if bundled with a full home inspection.

    + $25 per dust wipe, minimum 3 wipes.

Please call, text, or email for lead-safe inspections – online scheduling not available.

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